I have a running joke with a friend that we won’t drink anything with calories if it’s not caffeinated or alcoholic. Juice? Soda? Not worth it. Coffee? Martini? Yes, please. I’ve never been a big smoothie person, and I’m not really into our current collective obsession with jucing. Why would I waste calories drinking something when I could be eating something? Aren’t we all in agreement that eating is so, so much better?
But a few months ago, I bought the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. Flipping through it, something about the Green Monster spoke to me. It was a smoothie made with a banana, some almond milk, a tablespoon of almond butter, chia seeds, and a handful of kale. The whole thing was about 300 calories and Angela wrote that she had one for breakfast a few times a week. I happened to have everything on hand to make it, so I whipped one up the next morning. I honestly couldn’t believe how delicious it was. Plus, it made me feel great and kept me full until lunch. I’ve been totally converted, and since that day I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast almost every day.
Not the same smoothie, though. That would be boring. I’ve been playing around with different combinations, some more successful, some less. So far this cranberry version is one of my favorites. If you don’t have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) you might need to add a little water to get your smoothie totally–for lack of a better word–smooth. Anytime I have bananas on the verge of overripe I peel them, put them in a sandwich baggie, and toss them in the freezer so I always have them on hand.
Cranberry Almond Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
Adapted from Oh She Glows and The Food Network Magazine
1 medium banana, peeled and frozen
1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
Pinch of cinnamon
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If your blender is “sticking” drizzle in a little water and blend again.